Research on resilience —our ability to bounce back from adversity — has shown that giving support to others has a significant impact on our well-being. Our bodies and minds benefit in a variety of ways when we help others, sometimes even generating a “helper’s high”.
In fact, the act of giving advice has been shown to be even more beneficial than receiving it. In a series of studies of 2,274 people, researchers found that after middle-school students gave younger students help with studying, they ended up spending more time on their own homework. Overweight people who counseled others on weight loss were more motivated to lose weight themselves.
In a New York Times article, Wharton organizational psychologist Adam Grant explained that we often are better at giving advice to people other than ourselves. “One of the best things you can do is call someone else facing a similar problem and talk them through it,” he said. Grant, who co-founded an online networking platform call Givitas, which connects people asking for or offering support and advice, added, “When you talk other people through their problems, you come up with wiser perspectives and solutions for yourself.”
When was the last time you gave advice, and how did it make you feel? Did it benefit you, or the receiver, or both? To join the conversation, click "comments" just above this article, under the photo. We'd love to hear your thoughts!